South Africa offers more rock climbing routes than many other countries. Established tour guides, who adhere to strict safety regulations, gladly welcome travelling climbers – from novices to professionals. Glorious weather adds greatly to the South African rock climbing experience.

Did you know?

The highest point in South Africa is Mafadi Peak, which is 3 450m above sea level.

Cape Town's Table Mountain boasts some of the oldest rocks on the planet, but this monolith represents only one of many mountain ranges found scattered across the country’s nine provinces. And with mountains come the climbers, from all corners of the globe, ready to tackle the southernmost challenges of the African continent.

Mpumalanga province alone offers more than 500 climbing routes, courtesy of the magnificent Magaliesberg mountain range, Bronkhorstspruit and Emgwenya (formerly Waterval Boven). Between the highveld savannah of the Witwatersrand and the African bushveld, the Magaliesberg mountians are around 100 times older than Everest and attract climbers with some of the most picturesque cliffs and valleys in the country.

KwaZulu-Natal’s Howick Falls and Shongweni Nature Reserve are prime rock-climbing terrain just an hour’s drive from the coastal city of Durban (eThekwini). Then there’s the rural town of Harrismith, backed by climbing opportunities in the Drakensberg range and Maluti mountains, where Swinburne and Mount Everest Park collectively offer 48 rock climbing sites.

With its numerous mountain ranges, the Western Cape’s Cedarberg, Du Toit's Kloof and Swartberg Pass offer prime territory. Montagu offers prime climb time with around 400 single-pitch and multi-pitch sport routes of differing range to be found on its quality rocky crags in a spot where it hardly ever rains.

Quality bouldering and sport climbing of all grades is available in the aptly named Rocklands region near Clanwilliam in the Cape. Sport routes are single pitch and require a bit of walking to access. The climbs are mostly in Cape Nature Conservation (CNC) and so you will require a day permit.

The remote nature of Eastern Cape climbing destinations adds greatly to your sense of adventure. The most popular spots are to be found in the Hogsback or at the coast in Cape St Francis.

The Mountain Club of South Africa consists of 14 geographic sections. In the interests of security it is advisable to contact the section nearest to you to find out about climbing sites and potential dangers in the area if you intend setting out on your own.

Travel tips & Planning info

Related articles